Soylent: the liquid food replacement

- Have you heard of Soylent? It's billed as a bold breakthrough in nutrition, a liquid replacement for conventional food.

It's caught on in Silicon Valley among those who don't want to spend precious time cooking food, eating it, and cleaning up afterward.

So what is it like to go on a Soylent diet?

"Soylent began as an idea to create the ultimate food. The goal wasn't to replace food, but to provide a better alternative to what we usually eat," said Rob Rheinhart.

Rheinhart is the man behind Soylent.

"It takes a little perspective to see that food really is made out of chemicals; we can reduce it, and build it back up and make it better," he said.

Soylent is a powder mixed with water. In the company's video people who drink Soylent live in a sleek, futuristic world where there's always trippy electronic music playing in the background.

But there are some people in the real world with an interest in Soylent, including FOX 10's Jeff Moriarty.

"To me it is just an intriguing idea, we are at a point in our culture where you can just put aside worrying about a creative lunch and just boil it down to one clear drink," said Jeff Moriarty.

So Jeff tried Soylent for a week, shakes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The shakes give 2000 calories a day and cost about $3 a meal.

Getting used to Soylent takes some doing.

"Well so I am going through these three phases figuring out how to make it getting balanced right, and getting used to the taste that is really odd," he said.

How to describe the taste? Chalk. It's not bad, but it's also not good.

FOX 10 spoke with Dr. Terry Simpson, a specialist in nutrition and weight loss. He's tried Soylent too.

"It takes a little like somewhere between bad cake frosting and slime," said Dr. Simpson.

That's not exactly a ringing endorsement, nor is the doctor living off Soylent.

"There are some real issues when you look at how people absorb vitamins, most people actually like using their teeth, and biologically it is probably better," he said.

So does Dr. Simpson recommend people use it? "No, I recommend that they learn to cook."

Jeff was actually upbeat after a week living the Soylent life.

So what did he like about it? "I liked the speed and versatility, so I could grab a shake, go into the break room for lunch and be back in two minutes."

And what didn't he like about it? "I didn't like eating the same basic thing for an entire week."

Now he's back to eating what he normally does with an occasional Soylent shake on the side.


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